How to Dress Up Joggers

how to dress up joggers

My jogger collection has grown over the years due to my love for comfort and their trendiness. They’re not just for the weekend anymore, and thank goodness because feeling relaxed and put together is the best. With so many styles of joggers out now, there are dozens of ways to dress up joggers beyond off-duty style. Joggers can be fashionably worn for work, date night, events, and more.

The secret sauce of wearing joggers is all about the fabric, the fit, and completing your outfit with pieces that look polished, not frumpy. Keep reading for tips and outfit ideas on how to dress up joggers for any occasion.

How to Dress Up Joggers

Dressing Up Joggers for Work

The idea of wearing joggers to work would’ve solicited a laugh ten years ago, but refined joggers that are a hybrid between dress pants and sweats are now widely available. For a modern take on a suit, pair wool joggers with black pumps and a coordinating wool blazer. My main tip for wearing joggers to the office is to keep the colors as formal as possible: think gray, navy, black, and camel.

Work Outfits with Joggers

Dressing Up Joggers for Date Night

Whether it’s a first date or the 100th, joggers are a fun departure from the standard jeans and a cute top. For winter date nights, satin joggers or leather joggers look amazing with a tailored sweater. You could style joggers with a third piece, like a blazer, and a lace camisole underneath. To me, heels are absolutely necessary to pull off a dressy jogger outfit: choose a shoe that won’t compete with the joggers’ cinched ankle design, like pumps, strappy heels, or heeled mules.

Dressy Outfits with Joggers

How to Wear Joggers in Semi-Casual Outfits

The last couple of years have made wearing athleisure for any occasion more than acceptable, and that trend is here to stay. So if you’re looking to make joggers stylish for a morning coffee run, everyday errands, or even happy hour drinks, stash that hoodie and stick with a simple lightweight white t-shirt or sweater to avoid overwhelming your frame. A fitted button-down shirt in jersey would also look great; it carries through the sporty feel without being as casual as a tee. Grab flats and seasonally-appropriate outerwear (try a denim jacket in spring/summer, a short belted wool coat in winter/fall, or a leather jacket in any season) to complete the look.

Semi-Casual Outfits with Joggers

How to Style Joggers in Casual Outfits

There’s nothing wrong with fully embracing the casual side of joggers—I do it all the time! A casual jogger outfit looks elevated with a matching pullover. Loungewear sets are all the rage and you can find them at places like Banana Republic, Everlane, and Target. For a put-together athleisure vibe, try a belt bag with a matching beanie, then cozy up in a teddy coat or wool coat that coordinates with the color of the joggers.

Casual Outfits with Joggers

How to Find Joggers You Can Dress Up

Having a pair of joggers on hand that dress up easily is really the key to pulling off these outfits. Look for refined joggers that seem more like a dress pant and less like sweatpants. You’ll know the difference primarily by the material and fit. Here’s how to find joggers that are flattering if you want to dress them up.

Pay Attention to the Jogger Material

The less cotton involved, the dressier the jogger. Sweatpants are often made with 100% cotton which gives them that baggy, frumpy, just-came-from-the-gym vibe. Satin, silk, elastane, and polyester styles look more refined.

Look for Joggers with Structure

Opt for slim-fit joggers that hug the body. They don’t have to be skin tight, you want to eliminate the baggy look created by extra fabric.

Find Joggers with Elevated Details

Look for tailored details like side slit pockets, a snap closure, seams, and banded or elasticized cuffs. A great example is the difference between these cotton-blend joggers and these technical joggers. They’re by the same brand, but the tech joggers clearly look more refined.

What Tops and Shoes to Wear With Joggers

Shoes that Look Stylish with Joggers

One could argue that joggers’ main function is to draw attention to your shoes. Something about the cuffs draw the eyes downward! Heeled sandals, pumps, and heeled mules look best with joggers. I’ve seen them worn in street style photos with ankle boots, but if you go that route I recommend booties with a very low shaft height. For making joggers look stylish in daytime, it doesn’t get better than a crisp white sneaker. I’ve worn them with loafers and mules in spring and fall, too.

Tops that Look Stylish with Joggers

When dressing up joggers that contain polyester or cotton, try a dressier top like a silk halter blouse, a satin button-up, or a fitted sweater. If you’re dressing up silk or satin joggers, carry the look through with a coordinating satin top or add contrast with a textured knit.

What are Joggers?

Traditionally, joggers are sports pants that are lightweight and have an athletic appearance. The difference between joggers and sweatpants is that joggers are slimmer and more form-fitting while sweatpants tend to be heavier and baggier. Joggers typically have a cinched ankle design and are more breathable, while sweatpants are softer and better for lounging.